Case Study 1 – Prenatal and Infant Population
In this case study G.K is a nurse practitioner working in the health department of a large city caring for children and infants referred there after discharge from the local hospital. These children are considered high risk because they may be going home to a high-risk environment. G.K follows up with these children to ensure that they are in a safe environment, and that they are growing and developing adequately. Additionally, she provides support and education to their parents so they may be able to respond adequately to the challenges of raising children.
Children's health is often determined by a myriad of complex factors that impacts their growth and development. Biological factors include prenatal influences, genetic expressions, prior states of health, biological constraints, and possibilities created by their prenatal and post-natal influences ("Children's health," 2004). Behavioral factors include behaviors, attitudes, child's emotional state, and cognitive abilities that influence the child's health ("Children's health," 2004). Environmental factors include toxins such as air pollution and lead, socioeconomic resources within the family and their community, loving interactions with family members and their caregivers, culture, racism, segregation, the availability of quality services, and policies that directly or indirectly affect these and other interactive factors ("Children's health," 2004).
The role of biological, environmental, and behavioral factors tends to change as the child grows and learns to adapt. An example of this is the attachment a child has to an adult during infancy, this changes as they grow into a toddler or adolescent when peer influence becomes more critical ("Children's health," 2004). Health influences can affect different children in various ways dependent upon their families and their cultural views ("Children's health," 2004). Therefore, developmental milestones should be applied to children based on their specific cultural background. As healthcare providers it is important that we understand a child's health development is not based on a single influence or even a specific set of influences. Additional research is important to increasing our understanding of relative contribution of influences across a variety of social and cultural groups ("Children's health," 2004).
A study done by WHO in 2016 revealed that over 644,855 children under the age of 15 were killed by an injury and between10 million and 30 million children suffered non-fatal injuries (Sleet, 2018). Childhood injuries can be categorized into two different subgroups of intentional and unintentional injury. Injuries such as traffic accidents, sports injuries, burns, poisonings, drowning, and suffocation are all examples of unintentional injuries (Sleet, 2018). Injuries resulting from assault, suicide, and self-inflicted injuries are classified as intentional injuries (Sleet, 2018).
Since most injuries can be predicted, prevented, and even controlled as healthcare providers we must educate parents on various methods to prevent injury to their children. Parents must be taught that risk taking is an important part of children's lives, therefore they should closely monitor their children to avoid both unintentional and intentional risks. Parents must also be taught how to child proof their homes. The use of safety gates and locks that prevent children from potentially interacting with hazardous chemicals is one way to prevent unintentional injury. Another example is the utilization of outlet covers to help prevent children from electric shock. The goal is not to eliminate all risk but to better control and manage them (Sleet, 2018).
Children's health, the nation's wealth: Assessing and improving child health. (2004). National Academies Press.
Sleet D. A. (2018). The Global Challenge of Child Injury Prevention. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9), 1921. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091921 (Links to an external site.)